UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
WACO -- It's called the Spay or Pay program.
A Waco city ordinance requiring everyone to spay or neuter their pets or shell out $35.
"To prevent again, the overpopulation of, of a, animals that would have to be euthanized. From a feral cat problems and things, just wild dogs and cats they're turned to be loose and just trying to fend for themselves and that makes them hungry and aggressive maybe more times than not," said Larry Holze, Municipal Information Officer for Waco City Hall.
But since the Waco animal control unit is short staffed, answering the more than 8,000 calls to pick up strays is a difficult task.
Now because of the limited amount of animal control officers the Waco Humane Society has had to double up animals in pens in order to make room for the line of stray animals brought to their front door.
"We have had an intake of over 10,000 animals here at the humane society and for that number of animals, per our capita and population, that's a pretty high number," said Gina Ford, Waco Humane Society spokesperson.
And solving the problem won't be easy.
"It's one attempt to control the area of those people who are irresponsible pet owners and put some type of punishment or fine on it," said Holze.
So it may be up to the city to spread the message to pet owners more effectively.
"Again maybe the city of Waco didn't properly communicate it to their citizens and/or when there's not enough animal control officers to help encourage the enforcement then again that's where it's lacking," said Ford.